Sunday 13th March, Silverstone Circuit, Northhants
The first two events were small running club events, while this was event was a complete contrast and the first of the big events. The Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon is organised by the same company that does the London Marathon, and it is used by a lot of runners as a training event for the VLM itself. For me, it is event No3 in my 2016 ’12 in 12’ Challenge.
Leaving Derby, the mist was still rolling about but the sun was trying to push through making it a lovely morning, but as I drove down the M1 the mist got thicker and thicker with only a glow of the sun on the sky. I had to be at the site a good 90mins before race start to ensure I was parked up and enough time to walk to the race base. Walking from the car, following the mass of runners and supporters a tingle of excitement was beginning to run through the blood especially as I saw the ‘Welcome to Silverstone’ sign – here I am at the home of motor racing – for a half marathon.
With the sun still hiding behind the fog, it was actually quite chilly and I forgot my gloves, so (much to the dismay of my daughter) I had to visit the Adidas Shop at race base (this was the old paddock area) and bought a pair J. Then off to get ready, and now – 20mins before the start, the sun was winning its little battle with the mist and beginning to shine through.
12pm on the dot, the klaxon
sounded and so we were off, as I was in the masses, we walked slowly forward, then into a trot before picking up a job as I actually crossed the start line. Were on the main race track at the moment just after Copse Corner running toward Maggots and into the Becketts compex (please add a Murray walker tone of excitement as you read this) before Chapel and into Hanger Straight. Charging along at an impressive 7mph (about 200mph slower than Hamilton and co) before hitt1ng Stow and the Vale. Round Club still jogging along but beginning to think, ok I could push this on a little more. Weather was nice, slight breeze, temp was near ideal and the dry. Then past the new pit lane and the impressive ‘Wing’ before hitting Abbey still following the GP circuit. I was in a nice settled pace here, but thinking I could put in a reasonable time as we ran down the Wellington Straight before rounding Luffield and into the old pitlane. For the next couple of miles we loped and weaved around the infield before running down the new pitlane and under the ‘Wing’ and through the new paddock area. It was really good running, but it was breezy more than what I, and others, realised, but as we were twisting it did catch us out occasionally as we ran. At mile 8 we hit the outer road – it’s a road that runs round the circuit, that allows easy access for vehicles to get various parts – and at mile 11 we hit themain track again, and headed back to the old start area – the wrong way round though. Vale, has a slight incline, which I didn’t feel the first tiem round – mainly as it was downhill, but meeting at mile 12 and uphill, one could feel it in the legs. Then a final charge down Hanger through the Chapel-Becketts-Maggots combination before the finishing line at Copse.
Walk through the area to hand in the chip timer, collect the goodie bag and medal. Sit and drink. It was a truly amazing experience to run round one of the great GP Circuits of the world. The event was slick and really well organised. The only downside, and it is a small critique, it didn’t quite have the feel one has when finishing in a big city event. Yes, plenty of people about – but they were all runners and runner related. When in the past I have finished at Chester, with its finish in front of the Town Hall – loads of people are about cheering you on. As I say, it is only small comment.
I was really pleased at my time, 1.46.32, some 5mins quicker than 4 Villages and nearly 6 compared to Sleaford – but they had bad weather (very cold at Helsby and very blustery at Sleaford). In just under 11 weeks ran my first 3 ½ marathons in my challenge and my next one is not for 6 weeks (24th April), so a few days off to rest and recover is in order, think I am allowed that. After that they come quick again with 3 weeks between Stratford in April to Chester to May, then 3weeks again to my own home town event, the ‘Ramathon’.
Yes I am doing this as I like running, and yes I am doing it to celebrate my 50th year and 10 years of running. For me thou, it is also raising awareness of the Encephalitis Society and the illness itself Encephalitis. If you can, please visit the website by clicking here and reading up about the illness and the work they do.